Veterinary Outbreak Investigation Service (VOIS)

VOIS lock-up


VOIS is UCVM’s Veterinary Outbreak Investigation Service. It is a service offered by UCVM to assist private veterinarians in Alberta in working up unusual animal health events, outbreaks of disease, loss of productivity, or situations in which human disease risk is an important component of the animal health event. These events do not include reportable or foreign animal diseases as they are investigated by the appropriate government authority. Assistance can be with diagnostics only (through the Diagnostic Services Unit, DSU) or with diagnostics and investigation assistance from UCVM veterinary specialists.

Outbreak investigations are important to inform treatment and management practices in a group of animals. In livestock, this is of particular importance for surveillance of animal disease, protection of public health, food safety, and improving animal health and welfare. Outbreaks worked up by VOIS also contribute to educational material for veterinary students.

VOIS only accepts investigation requests from licensed, practicing veterinarians or government agencies in Alberta and will always work with the requesting veterinarian throughout the entire investigation. To request assistance, fill out the request form here, and submit the completed PDF to VOIS@ucalgary.ca. Approval for investigation assistance is done on a case-by-case basis. While VOIS will visit farms in an investigation, in most cases we rely on the primary veterinarian to collect and submit diagnostic samples.

A standard nominal investigation fee is applied to outbreak investigations to cover costs incurred by UCVM such as travel, but there are generally no charges for the professional service. There may be charges for additional diagnostic or analytical work approved by the veterinarian and producer/owner. Financial support is available for livestock species through our Enhanced Livestock Diagnostics Grant. For other species, UCVM may be able provide financial support on a case-by-case basis.

For more information see the FAQs below or email VOIS@ucalgary.ca